This is the first of a three part summary describing a method of gaining understanding of current business objectives and translating these into observable & potentially measurable benefits, such that these may be used to line up technology initiatives. It goes without saying that this is a structure which may be sliced and diced, and expanded to suit a particular need and strategic objective such as for example retrofitting a business, acquiring new technology, or evaluating a merger from a technology perspective. This approach has been drawn from concepts derived from methodologies such as the Cranfield Value based IT, and standard program management (PMI) methods.
Another key aspect is that measurement is welcome but incidental to the process, looking for numbers on observable current and anticipated futures is more important than finding them, as the work done in this regard helps to shape an understanding of the business and the corresponding technology. Don’t get too hung up on that, although a numeric quantity is always better than a speculation.
Firstly, apply business strategy to IT investments using domain specific references such as standards, competitor profiles and market drivers, to structure the case . In the case of communication service providers, the TMF ( Telemanagement forum) may be used in developing the business architecture as reference, together with current threats, opportunities and capabilities. Essentially build an Enterprise architecture.
Identify benefits based on the objectives documented and agreed with stakeholders ( cannot stress this enough, the agreement part!) through the previous architecture development process
Now that some benefits are derived we are ready to go the next step, that of mapping the benefits to the technology both current and new or proposed.